Covent Garden Is The Place In London For Good Food, Theatre Shows, Ballets And Opera

Covent Garden's name has its origins in the mists of time - dating back to the reign of King John in the 13th century. It was a 40 acre site and formed the large kitchen garden for the Convent or Abbey of St Peter at Westminster.

Hotels in Covent Garden

The Strand Palace

One Aldwych

The Waldorf Hilton

St Martins Lane
A Morgans Original

Kingsway Hall Hotel

Radisson Edwardian
Mountbatten Hotel

Charing Cross
A Guoman Hotel

Radisson Edwardian
Hampshire Hotel

Swissotel The Howard

Chancery Court

The Grand At
Trafalgar Square

Radisson Edwardian
Leicester Square

The Royal Trafalgar

Royal Horseguards Hotel

The Trafalgar Hilton

Hazlitts Hotel

For the benefit of visitors, the land is bordered by St Martin's Lane in the west, Drury Lane in the east, Floral Street to the north and Maiden Lane to the south.

The monks' 'convent garden' became a major source of fruit and vegetables in London and, for the next 700 years, Covent Garden became inexorably linked with fresh 'fruit and veg'.

The houses built here in the 1630s by one of London's most famous architects, Inigo Jones, were designed for "Gentlemen and men of ability". Before they were destroyed by the Great Fire of London, Covent Garden was regarded as the most fashionable place to live in London.

Today, Covent Garden is still a very lively and fashionable place to shop and dine. It attracts a variety of people including tourists, opera and theatre-goers and shoppers.

Covent Garden Shops

Covent Garden Shops - Long Acre Covent Garden Shops - Jubilee Market

There are several young fashion designer shops in Neal Street including Diesel and Miss Sixty, Urban Outfitters and Bench in Shelton Street, and Hobbs and Zara in Long Acre.

For the traditional British arts and crafts and antiques, head for the Apple Market and the Jubilee Market. It is claimed that the Apple Market will be the only market in London that sells unique hand-made craft products which are only produced within the UK.

The Apple Market supports the arts and crafts industry of Great Britain by creating an environment that genuinely nurtures art and crafts. In the long-term, the aim is to build on Covent Garden’s famous arts and crafts heritage by building a creative hub that showcases the best in unique hand-made goods.

Covent Garden Food Market Covent Garden Market

The Piazza

The Piazza is an open-air market selling traditional British food and exotic delights every Thursday. Experience the hustle and bustle of the stallholders, the cries of the area’s famous street entertainers and the amazing aromas coming from the bubbling pots and freshly cooked goods on offer.

Covent Garden Restaurant Piazza

Covent Garden Street Entertainers

To mark the first London Restaurant Festival (October 8th - 13th, 2009), PizzaExpress Dough Acrobats gave a musical performance with lessons on spinning and tossing - dough!!

Covent Garden Restaurants

Covent Garden Restaurants Musicians Covent Garden Market Night Singer

Eating out in the Piazza is a sheer delight. With such a vast array of food on offer together with live music to keep you entertained, your main problem is deciding what to eat.

There are lots of interesting things to see and keep you entertained here, including: London Transport Museum, Covent Garden

  • London Transport Museum - London Transport Museum has more than 80 road and rail vehicles in its collection representing public transport in the city and its suburban and country areas over the last two centuries. There are only 20 vehicles on display at the Covent Garden location and the rest are kept at the London Transport Museum depot in Acton. Venue: London Transport Museum  Address: Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB 
  • The Royal Opera House - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House in Bow Street, is home to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The original theatre on this site was built in 1732 and the current majestic building is the third, following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1857. The first ballet was presented in 1734. Handel's first season of operas began in 1735.

Theatre tickets for performances at the Royal Opera House include:

  • Sleeping Beauty tickets from 23rd October 2009 to 23rd January 2010.
  • The Nutcracker tickets are available from 26th November 2009 to 1st January 2010.
  • Bow Street - Established in 1829, located opposite the Opera House at 25 and 27 Bow Street, was the site of the first police station in London. Beside it stood Bow Street Magistrates Court, where famous people like Oscar Wilde, Dr Crippen, the Kray Twins and Jeffery Archer were tried.
  • Russell Street was in the heart of London's clubland for about 100 years until around 1815. The whole of London Society used to come here to exchange news and gossip at three coffee houses - Tom's, Button's and Will's.
  • London Theatres

    London Theatreland - Drury Lane

    The Theatre Royal, in Drury Lane, is the oldest theatre in London. It has been on this site since 1663, although the present building dates from 1811. All previous buildings were destroyed by The Great Fire of London in 1666.

    Other theatre tickets for shows in and around here include:

    • The Theatre Royal (Drury Lane), booking until 26th February 2011, is showing Oliver
    • The Lyceum (Wellington Street) booking until 29th August 2010, is showing The Lion King
    • Duchess Theatre (Catherine Street), booking until 5th December2009, is showing Endgame
    • Aldwych Theatre (Aldwych), booking until 27th March 2010, is showing Dirty Dancing
    • Cambridge Theatre (Earlham Street), booking until 30th October 2010, is showing Chicago
    • Novello Theatre (S.Aldwych), booking from 20th November 2009 to 10th April 2010, will be showing Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
  • St Paul's Church, also known as the actors' church, is the only remaining building from the original Covent Garden. The walls in the church are covered with memorials to actors and in 2005 the "Avenue of Stars" was opened in the grounds of the church.
  • Rules Restaurant, located at 35 Maiden Lane on the south of Covent Garden, is the oldest restaurant in London and has been trading since 1798.

    Many famous people of the nineteenth century, including Charles Dickens, have dined there. It is claimed that to the right of the main entrance is a side door built for Edward VII so that he could entertain his lady friends in private.

    Also the pub at number 13 Maiden Lane has been there since 1692.

Covent Garden is the place to explore next time you visit London. There are lots of theatres, restaurants, pubs, cafes and shops for you to enjoy.

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